NY Post- A Brooklyn pastor who complained about needing cash brought in a pack of aggressive salesmen from a shady cookware company to try to peddle pricey pots and pans to his aging congregants, a worshipper told The Post.
The older, mostly Hispanic parishioners at New Beginnings Church in Williamsburg were given the hard sell after last Sunday’s 2 p.m. service by the Royal Prestige cookware company, whose kitchen sets start at $1,700.
In the name of the father, son, and the holy pots and pans. Helluva shot, father. Sew that seed baby. Buy this surgical-steel cooking set and God will bestow upon you a bounty that you can cook to perfection. Sure, $1700 is a little steep but can you really put a price on eternal salvation?
From a practical standpoint, this is one of the more reasonable pitches I’ve ever heard from a pastor. Many televangelist preachers espouse something called the “prosperity gospel,” whereby wealth is considered a sign of God’s favor, and donations will result in financial returns down the road. In this, there exists a vague promise of returns through faith. I’m not here to shun religion, but I would point out that a $1700 investment on high-end kitchenware seems like a much better use of money than a $1700 “seed” that I’ll probably never see again.
Back to our man in Williamsburg…
After this past Sunday’s sermon, he introduced a Post reporter to the congregants, which consisted of about 15 women.
“Did you feel pressured last week during the presentation?” he asked them out loud.
When no one replied, he said: “You see, no one feels bamboozled.”
When asked whether he was getting commissions for sales, the pastor told The Post, “What’s our business is our business.’’
Hmmm. 15 Hispanic women chosen specifically to answer questions about the pastor’s black market Williams Sonoma ring that he runs out of his church? Yeah, I’d expect them to pipe up and sell him out. Is he getting a commission? What kind of clown question is that?! Of course! Pastor Zelaiya knows business. Let the man hawk pots and pans to elderly hispanic people in church; this is capitalism at its finest.
PS- John Oliver did an amazing segment on televangelism.